But I am having a really hard time writing about it. Don't know why, but I am thinking it has to do with the amount of ideas that resonate with me. I seem to have noted, underlined or ticked several lines or passages on every page.
The firt time I read this was, at least, over a year ago, and I have probably re-read it at least 4 times. Again I am having a hard time on where to start, so instead I am going to just post the partial post I wrote a year ago.....
I love this little piece, and I am so happy that he wrote this. He starts by meeting an old man who knew his father, and this old man wants to tell him all about how things were when the old man was 25. Now Fitzgerald tells us he knows what the old man is remembering is what the old man wants to remember and not reality, and he then tell the reader, that this is what men do. They create an alternate history for themselves, and thatThen I took another stab at trying to untangle my thoughts....
"I will be doing it myself someday. I will concoct for my juniors a Scott Fitzgerald that, it's safe to say, none of my contemporaries would at present recognize. But they will be old themselves then; and they will respect my concoctions as I shall respect theirs..."He is then approached by a reporter who jokes that since Fitzgerald is obsessed with youth that he is rumored to commit suicide before reaching 30. I love his answer to the reporter. How he knows that at 30 he is going to be different, his wife will be different, and even his body will be different.
I wish he has kept this up throughout his life. He had such insight on himself and through that onto humanity. I would love to see how he would take all the changes that would come in his life, how he would age and change as the world and times changed. What would he have thought about the second world war and the post war era?
This little piece has so much about Fitzgerald and how he sees the world, and how I see the world and how he is able to put them in words. When I start to highlight I have to stop because I would just be highlighting the whole text. It seems that it all speaks to me. In effect, this is going to be one of those rambling thought posts, where I just get it out. If it strikes your fancy then go get a copy and read it for yourself. You won't be sorry.
What I think and feel at 25 shows Fitzgerald wit. It is funny, I love how he creates the images that he sees in his head. I have often said that many people don't get my humor because I see the funny in my head and just can't get it out. Luckily I have married someone who has learned how my brain works and understands my thought bubbles. Any ways an example of this is the description of the picture the newspaper man will use to describe the impending suicide of Scott and Zelda to avoid turning 30...
" ...In one corner will stand the doomed couple, she with an arsenic sundae, he with an Oriental dagger. both will have their eyes fixed on a large clock, on the face of which will be a skull and crossbones. In the other corner will be a big calendar with the date marked in red."My brain just explodes as I think about.....
"The Man stopped me on the street. He was ancient...."Say, Fitzgerald, " he said, "say! Will you tell me this: What in the blinkety-blank-blank has a - has a man of your age got to go around saying these pessimistic things for..."As you can see I get side tracked and probably would write on and on about this one. So right now I am going to end the insanity and just tell you to go pick up a copy and read it. Let me know if it speaks to you as it speaks to me. And maybe, just maybe, I will be able to get my thoughts around this one and be able to write something concise and coherent.
I have been trying to figure out exactly how to tackle this piece, because I think it is so amazing. I LOVE IT! It is on my very short list of things you need to read if you have any interest at all in F Scott Fitzgerald.
So it is obvious that I think highly if this, but that still does not address how I should tackle the mere 13 pages of text. I think the best way for me is to fill you in on my margin notes, and brace yourself there are many margin notes for this one. Warning, my synapses are on over drive with this one.
So off we go....
The title says it all. "What I think and feel at 25", but what he thinks and feels is witting, insightful and thought provoking. He starts out by meeting an old man. In talking with the old man he is aware that as the version on life the older man is wanting to bestow on Fitzgerald is a distortion, but he can't fault the old man, because he know that when he is older he too will invent an alternate version of his life.
"I will concoct for my juniors a Scott Fitzgerald that is safe to say, none of my contemporaries would at present recognize. But they will be old themselves then; and they will respect my concoction as I shall respect theirs..."But, as soon as Scott tries to have a conversation with the gentleman, he is cut off, the man is not really interested in what he has to say, he just wanted to "give a speech"
He then runs into a newspaper man, who is hoping to talk to Fitzgerald to get an angle to sell his papers. He wants to address a rumor that since Fitzgerald is afraid of middle age he and Zelda plan to commit suicide before they turn 30. And he wants Fitzgerald to tie in the petting-parties he is so famous for writing about. Fitzgerald wants to object, he is not afraid of being 30 because "When I am thirty I won't be this me..." (This is actually a very interesting part, but more later). And he doesn't understand what petting parties have to do with anything. In meeting the news man, he has to confront the idea of being a celebrity and realizing that the public only wants to hear what they already think about him, they don't want to hear bout what he really thinks about turning 30 and vulnerability.
Vulnerability is what he really wants to talk about at 25, how he has become vulnerable, and how he was not so vulnerable a mere 3 years before, and by Vulnerable he means easily wounded.
"And so I ooze gently into middle age; for true middle age is not the acquirement of years, but the acquirement of a family."Then he talks about how he was influenced by others and how he wasn't able to just be himself and when he tried he was called morbid.
"I was cast into a situation where everybody thought I ought to behave just as they behaved - and didn't have the courage to shut up and go my own way, anyhow."Don't we all fall into this at some time? Where others feel we should be or do something just because other are doing it? That we are less than some how? I have had this internal battle my whole life. Here Fitzgerald goes into how he knew he should be an author, but every one told him how wrong that was, that was until he was published and then...
"they had believed all their lives that writing was the only thing for me, and had hardly been able to keep from telling me all the time."I am only half way through and I am already feeling like I have not even properly addressed the brilliance and humor of this piece. Or even how I personally relate to this particular
Quotes and phrases-
"In fact I was pretty much invulnerable. I put up a conventional wail whenever a ship was sunk or train got wrecked; but I don't suppose the whole city of Chicago had been wiped out, I'd have lost a night's sleep over it - unless something led me to believe that St. Paul was the next city on the list. Even then I could have moved my luggage over to Minneapolis and rested pretty comfortably all night"
"The income of the childless have wonderful elasticity. Two people require a room and a bath; couple with child requires the millionaire's suite on the sunny side of the hotel" Or at least the biggest, best SUV.
His list of Morbid.
1st To get engaged without enough money to marry
2d To leave the advertising business after three months
3d To want to writ at all
4th To think I could
5th To write about "silly little boys and girls that nobody wants to read about"